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USSF D2 Playoff Format

With all twelve USSF D2 still in the playoff hunt,  we thought it would be wise to clarify how the eight playoff teams will be determined.  This article is reprinted from the NASL site.

With the new USSF D-2 structure for 2010, new rules have been put in place governing playoff qualification. In the past several weeks  fans have regularly asked us about how playoff teams are determined. While the league is broken down into two conferences (the NASL and USL Conferences) of six teams each, these conferences only matter as far as the top seeds are concerned. The top two seeds in the playoffs will be the top two conference winners. However, seeds 3 thru 8 will be determined based on a single table format as described on NASL.com’s single table standings page.

Ties in table are broken by the following criteria:

1. The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)
2. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)
3. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)
4. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be
applied only to games played on the road by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (road 1-3)
5. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be
applied only to games played at home by each team against all other teams during the
regular season. (home 1-3)
6. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position in the standings shall be deter- mined by the toss of a coin.

The playoffs will take place for the three weeks following the October 3rd conclusion of the Regular Season. Each playoff series will be two leg ties with the team with the most aggregate goals advancing to the next round. This is similar to the CONCACAF Champions League, where D2 member Puerto Rico Islanders recently split two games versus the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS but outscored the Galaxy 5-3, over the two matches and thus advanced to the next stage of the competition. MLS uses a similar format for its first round, but not for the Conference Finals or MLS Cup.

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